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Good pastry brushes?


meredithla
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I'm at the opposite end. I recently got a silicone pastry brush and I absolutely love it. I'm thinking of replacing all my other brushes with silicone.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I was leafing through an old "Fine Cooking" magazine from a few years back while looking for a recipe last week and found a review from the editors raving about this pastry brush:

http://www.brush.com/cgi-bin/Brush.storefr...iew/60010020108

They said that it did not shed, that the natural boar's bristles absorbed and released butter and oil like a dream, and that it cleaned up beautifully. I have ordered one, but have not received it yet so I cannot speak from experience. It comes in different sizes as well.

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I was leafing through an old "Fine Cooking" magazine from a few years back while looking for a recipe last week and found a review from the editors raving about this pastry brush:

http://www.brush.com/cgi-bin/Brush.storefr...iew/60010020108

They said that it did not shed, that the natural boar's bristles absorbed and released butter and oil like a dream, and that it cleaned up beautifully. I have ordered one, but have not received it yet so I cannot speak from experience. It comes in different sizes as well.

The link is taking me only to the home page. Is it any of their pastry brushes or a specific one? I'd like to order one.

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“Give us the tools and we’ll get the job done.” ~ Churchill

Occasionally, I read a post on eG which is, at once, charming and instructive – and FistFullaRoux has delivered ideally! The traditional goose-feather brush consists of selected feathers lashed together for half its approx. 7-inch length. Like birch-twig whisks, it is possibly bought more often for its “folksy” decorative appearance than for its functional efficiency. We ought to do more than simply wax nostalgic for the feather pastry brushes: Lo and behold, it is a culinary answer-to-prayer when you see how splendidly it applies the thinnest possible egg-white glaze to delicate pastry lattices & shells.

In the broader view, the best general purpose brushes are either flat- or round-headed in design, and made of sterilized hog’s bristles set securely (one hopes!) in plain wooden handles. Flat brushes are designed much like house-painter’s brushes, with the bristles fastened into a tinned-steel band. Round brushes usually have the bristles secured directly into the handle, perhaps with an adhesive, such as non-interactive, non-toxic glue.

Nylon bristles are harder and less resilient than bristle. A major advantage of the silicone brushes is resistence to melting within a specified temperature range stated by the manufacture. (These brushes are widely distributed throughout the marketplace, as they can be found stocked, not only by kitchen/restaurant-equipment suppliers, but also in department & hardware stores.)

I’ve generally been satisfied using the various brushes I’ve purchased from King Arthur Flour Co. over the years. And the Oxo® pastry brushes are winners, too.

I would like to see greater availability of black-bristled brushes. The reason is akin to why I prefer to use brown-shelled eggs: A stray, colored bristle (or bit of eggshell) is more readily seen during most prep work than a neutral of white one. Otherwise, it might find it's way into the dental interstices of a guest's mouth!

[Edited for textual emphasis.)

Edited by Redsugar (log)

"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the late reply, my online time has been sporadic. They are the boar's bristle pastry brushes. Click on "food related" and then "baking and pastry brushes" and then "pastry brushes". Sorry I couldn't get a better link.

I was leafing through an old "Fine Cooking" magazine from a few years back while looking for a recipe last week and found a review from the editors raving about this pastry brush:

http://www.brush.com/cgi-bin/Brush.storefr...iew/60010020108

They said that it did not shed, that the natural boar's bristles absorbed and released butter and oil like a dream, and that it cleaned up beautifully. I have ordered one, but have not received it yet so I cannot speak from experience. It comes in different sizes as well.

The link is taking me only to the home page. Is it any of their pastry brushes or a specific one? I'd like to order one.

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“Give us the tools and we’ll get the job done.” ~ Churchill

Occasionally, I read a post on eG which is, at once, charming and instructive – and FistFullaRoux has delivered ideally!  The traditional goose-feather brush consists of selected feathers lashed together for half its approx. 7-inch length.  Like birch-twig whisks, it is possibly bought more often for its “folksy” decorative appearance than for its functional efficiency. We ought to do more than simply wax nostalgic for the feather pastry brushes:  Lo and behold, it is a culinary answer-to-prayer when you see how splendidly it applies the thinnest possible egg-white glaze to delicate pastry lattices & shells. 

Gads.

I must have plucked too many chickens in my life. The thought of a feather brush for cooking... is... overwhelmingly... wrong.

I would be curious to try one, though.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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  • 3 years later...

Is there a hardware store (paint) brush that would work as a pastry brush? I have so much trouble with shedding. I like the silicone brushes for some things but they do transfer too much butter and oil when you are using them for pastry. I haven't ever noticed much shedding with good paint brushes - even with repeated use. But are they food safe? If not, and I have to buy a regular pastry brush can someone possibly recommend a brand. I've bought dozens of them over the years and they last for a couple of uses and then we're pulling bristles off the food! :wacko:

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Go to an art supply store, pay a little more and get a brush that will last for many years (as long as you take care of it).

I have some brushes I have been using in the kitchen for more than ten years and they are still in excellent condition - all natural bristles and they don't shed.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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For greasing out baking pans, a silicone brush wouldn't be ideal.

What do they do in the mega-bakeries?

They have the pans glazed with a special glaze. No, not the teflon non-stick stuff, but a clear glaze that works great but needs re-applying every 4 or 6 months or so. For this reason many of the mega-bakeries have two sets of bread/cake pans. The cost to get a pan glazed is about 75 cents.

So, if you don't want to get your pans glazed, then don't use a brush at all.

If I have to grease out a pan, I use a wad of paper towel. For many of the reasons everyone has listed above, I hate brushes, and many brushes smell like wet pig (well, it figures, doesn't it?) when washed anyway.....

I never grease the bottoms of pans anyway, I lay down a disc of parchment/silicone paper. The cake comes out of the pan with the paper disc, and then the paper is removed. No sticking, no grease/flour build-up. And if you're cheap (like I am...) you can use the same disc a few times. For things like 9" square brownie pans I make a "sleeve" of slicone paper--bottom and sides, this gets put into the pan first, then the batter. After baking, the whole thing is removed and when cool, the paper is removed.

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Family keeps giving me silcone brushes as gifts and I loathe them, they are so clumsy. Natural bristle all the way, even with the shedding. I'll try the art store for my next round.


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I really hate the fact that most brushes harbor bacteria and/or mold up in the area where the bristles are attached. I find that they tend to smell bad after a while, even if you can't see the discoloration of the area under a plastic or metal band.

I found a a silicone brush that I like a lot at Bed Bath and Beyond, from a company called Chip Clip. It looks like BB&B has stopped carrying the item, but some store may still have a few. The beauty of this item is the fact that it comes completely apart for washing, and I know that it's 100% clean whenever I use it.

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Best way to clean and sanitize natural bristle brushes is to boil them: Put them in a pot with cold water, place a plate on top so they don't float to the surface, and boil the suckers.

I hate natural bristle brushes, they shed and smell like wet pig. Meh, each to his own.....

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I hate natural bristle brushes, they shed and smell like wet pig.  Meh, each to his own.....

Is that what a wet pig smells like? I probably would have encountered my first wet pig and gone "Ew, smells like a pastry brush!" What a gagging smell that is. I thought it was due to some nefarious chemical sorcery in a Chinese pastry brush factory.

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  • 7 months later...

Meredithla: I own Carlisle brushes. I have not tried the Silicone basting brushes. If I need to grease a pan, I might take a clean paper towel, a stick of butter, and rub it directly onto the pan. Carlisle claims that their bristles are molded into the handle, or epoxy-set in the ferrules. If your brushes are shedding, perhaps it is time to replace them. :cool:

Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

-- The Princess Bride

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy -- Red Green

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  • 12 years later...
Posted (edited)
On 10/26/2005 at 4:27 PM, Redsugar said:

“Give us the tools and we’ll get the job done.” ~ Churchill

Occasionally, I read a post on eG which is, at once, charming and instructive – and FistFullaRoux has delivered ideally! The traditional goose-feather brush consists of selected feathers lashed together for half its approx. 7-inch length. Like birch-twig whisks, it is possibly bought more often for its “folksy” decorative appearance than for its functional efficiency. We ought to do more than simply wax nostalgic for the feather pastry brushes: Lo and behold, it is a culinary answer-to-prayer when you see how splendidly it applies the thinnest possible egg-white glaze to delicate pastry lattices & shells.

In the broader view, the best general purpose brushes are either flat- or round-headed in design, and made of sterilized hog’s bristles set securely (one hopes!) in plain wooden handles. Flat brushes are designed much like house-painter’s brushes, with the bristles fastened into a tinned-steel band. Round brushes usually have the bristles secured directly into the handle, perhaps with an adhesive, such as non-interactive, non-toxic glue.

Nylon bristles are harder and less resilient than bristle. A major advantage of the silicone brushes is resistence to melting within a specified temperature range stated by the manufacture. (These brushes are widely distributed throughout the marketplace, as they can be found stocked, not only by kitchen/restaurant-equipment suppliers, but also in department & hardware stores.)

I’ve generally been satisfied using the various brushes I’ve purchased from King Arthur Flour Co. over the years. And the Oxo® pastry brushes are winners, too.

I would like to see greater availability of black-bristled brushes. The reason is akin to why I prefer to use brown-shelled eggs: A stray, colored bristle (or bit of eggshell) is more readily seen during most prep work than a neutral of white one. Otherwise, it might find it's way into the dental interstices of a guest's mouth!

[Edited for textual emphasis.)  https://kitchenprofy.de/backpinsel-test/

This is the third pastry brush I'm using to brush simple syrup in my cakes and the hairs on the brush come off and stick to the cake. is there a pastry brush you own that doesn't shed its hair? I am willing to pay big bucks for a good one instead of these ones I get at the grocery store. This last one was from Sur La Table too. I'm taking it back. Please share your tips if you have something else you use to brush syrup into cakes with if you don't use a brush also. Thanks a bunch!!!!!!!!

Edited by rrigreid (log)
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3 minutes ago, rrigreid said:

This is the third pastry brush I'm using to brush simple syrup in my cakes and the hairs on the brush come off and stick to the cake. is there a pastry brush you own that doesn't shed its hair? I am willing to pay big bucks for a good one instead of these ones I get at the grocery store. This last one was from Sur La Table too. I'm taking it back. Please share your tips if you have something else you use to brush syrup into cakes with if you don't use a brush also. Thanks a bunch!!!!!!!!

Have you tried the silicone brushes as many mentioned above?  They’re not perfect for everything but I like them a lot. As with all things silicone, I keep separate colors for sweet and savory. 

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Thermoworks has a site wide 20% off right now with a good selection of silicone tools. Two sizes of brushes. Love the trivets I recently purchased I use as spoon rests, jar openers, pot holders, etc. High heat to 600º and dishwasher safe. I agree they are not good for all things but suits most needs. 

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Natural bristle bushes are better, mentioned above go to an art store they quality there rivals anything anywhere else and will last decades, I’ve a few over 20 years old. 
 

‘wash them properly hot water, little soap on the palm of your hand make a cup with your hand and swirl the bristles against the palm in small circles and then rinse and let dry overnight and never put them into a dishwasher. 
 

never smells, never looses bristles, never have an issue. 

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I recently got a few of the silicone brushes (some obscure Amazon brand) to replace the bristle brush I'd been using (probably unwisely, maybe disgustingly) for everything sweet & savory for the last 10 years. My assumption was that bristle brushes are probably better ... at least more precise, if you need that. But you can never truly clean them, so you have to keep them segregated for specific uses. No one wants the sponge cake you glazed with the bristles that basted the suckling pig. 

 

I chose easy ... silicone goes in the dishwasher, so I can just grab whatever brush is on top. So far no regrets. They look like they'd be ineffectual and imprecise, but I don't find a practical difference. I'm not using them for anything where I have to worry about extreme evenness or visible brushstrokes. If you do that kind of thing, maybe get bristles just for that, and don't let anyone else use them. 

Notes from the underbelly

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